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India fail to crack the New Zealand code again in ICC tournaments




India against New Zealand in International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments in the last few years are like Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal on clay courts of the French Open, never finding a way to win. On Wednesday, the Kiwis inflicted the sixth successive defeat on India in ICC tournaments by winning the World Test Championship final.

The last time India managed to beat New Zealand was back in the 2003 50-over World Cup under Sourav Ganguly when left-arm pace bowler Zaheer Khan took four wickets as India skittled out the Kiwis for 146 and won by seven wickets in Centurion.

Since then, it has been all New Zealand as they have scored wins over India in T20 World Cup, 50-over World Cup as well as the World Test Championship matches.

Here is a look at where India have lost to New Zealand over the last 13-plus years in ICC tournaments:

2007 World T20, league match, Johannesburg:
The Kiwis scored 190 batting first with Brendon McCullum scoring 45 (31 balls) and Craig McMillan hitting 44 (off 23 balls). In response, India finished 10 runs short of the target at 180/9 in 20 overs. Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori picked up four wickets for 20 runs to put in a man-of-the-match performance.

2016 T20 World Cup Super-10 match, Nagpur:
Indians bowled tightly to restrict New Zealand to 126/7 in 20 overs on a pitch that helped spinners. Corey Anderson, with 34 off 42 balls, and Luke Ronchi (21 off 11) were the only noteworthy contributors for New Zealand. However, the visitors’ spin trio Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi shared nine wickets to skittle out India for 79. The Kiwis won by 47 runs.

2019 50-over World Cup semi-final:
One of the most disappointing losses for India. Having topped the league table with 15 points, the Virat Kohli-led team was favourite to win the tie played over two days due to inclement weather. Thanks to skipper Kane Williamson (67 off 95) and Ross Taylor (74 off 90), the Kiwis made 239. India’s batting, however, fell apart when they batted on the second day (reserve day), losing the first three wickets for five runs. Despite Ravindra Jadeja’s 77 off 59 balls, India were all out for 221 and ended 18 runs short.

WTC two-Test series in New Zealand, 2020:
India lost the first Test in Wellington by 10 wickets. Batting first, they folded for 165 in 68.1 overs as Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson picked up four wickets each. The Kiwis made 348 with the help of 89 from skipper Kane Williamson. The 183-run lead proved too much for India as they lost seven wickets in the second innings before they could clear the lead.

India lost the second Test in Christchurch by seven wickets. Even though they put up a better first innings score (242) this time and took a seven-run lead thanks to Mohammed Shami’s four-wicket and Jasprit Bumrah’s three-wicket hauls, they were crushed in the match. The batting crumbled for 124 in the second innings against the pace of Tim Southee (3/36) and Trent Boult (4/28). The 132-run target proved to be a cakewalk for the Kiwis.

WTC final, Southampton 2021:
The most recent match that ended on Wednesday looked like it would end in a draw. However, New Zealand’s four-pronged pace attack turned the tide in their team’s favour, dismissing India for a paltry 170 after they had resumed the sixth – reserve – day’s play at 64/2. The small target of 139 proved to be a cakewalk as both Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson shared an unbeaten 96-run partnership for the third wicket to take their team home.


‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League




Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.

Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.

In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:

“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”

Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:

Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:

“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”

With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.

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Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier




Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.

PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.

Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Messi’s envious record

In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.

The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.

No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.

“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.

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Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram




In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.

Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.

Striking gold, but in a different arena

  • The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
  • The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
  • His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.

Competitive or short tempered?

  • The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
  • On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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